The artistic exchange programme TRANSFER was initiated by the NRW KULTUR-sekretariat in 1990. Nine projects have been successfully completed since then.

The first TRANSFER (1990–92) was dedicated to the federal states of the former East Germany. This was followed by programmes focusing on Belgium (1992–94), Italy (1996), Poland (1997–98), Galicia, Asturias and the Basque Provinces (1999–2001), Israel (2001–03), Turkey (2005–07), France (2008–10) and Korea (2011–13).

Each TRANSFER project brought together museums in the partner countries to develop collaborative exhibitions in the ield of contemporary visual arts. The process-based methodology of the TRANSFER has proved to be particularly effective.

Building on the rich experiences of the last 15 years, NRW KULTURsekretariat has now expanded the TRANSFER concept.

TRANSFER INTERNATIONAL is an exchange programme aimed at a variety of types of artistic practice. Focussing on different genres and artistic disciplines, it will be interdisciplinary in nature. It will give rise to thematically-focused bi or trilateral international collaborations, characterised by intensive dialogue between the institutions in the participating countries or regions.

TRANSFER INTERNATIONAL will combine on-the-ground artistic project work with exchange and networking across different artistic cultures and communities, as well as the creation of sustainable structures for discursive exchange on a variety of levels.

TRANSFER INTERNATIONAL therefore hopes to become a tool for international cultural activity that is able to deliver considerable added value over the longer term to participating institutions, as well as to artists and artistic communities in the regions involved.

TRANSFER INTERNATIONALwill be a multi-year programme, with the goal of supporting artists and projects and promoting dialogue and collaboration between artists, creative practitioners and institutions. In addition, collaborative processes will be used to develop effective and sustainable cultural policy frameworks and structures.

The elements of Project Funding, the Visitors’ Programme and the Dialogue of Experts will form the three main pillars of the scheme.